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  #1  
Old 01-26-2018, 11:55 AM
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Default What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

We're set to lose our current bass player, & we're auditioning for a replacement over the next few weeks. Other than the usual basics, I'm curious as to your priorities. Are there any playing / interpretation elements you find especially attractive?

Additionally, any little red flags you look for in the application process? I have a few that I look for - what are yours?
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
We're set to lose our current bass player, & we're auditioning for a replacement over the next few weeks. Other than the usual basics, I'm curious as to your priorities. Are there any playing / interpretation elements you find especially attractive?

Additionally, any little red flags you look for in the application process? I have a few that I look for - what are yours?
This is dependent on the music you're playing (obviously), but when in cover band territory, I just want to hear the recorded part. I did a gig where the bass player didn't play parts original to the song, and all the songs had this weird bass part going on - not something very grooving when you know what you need to hear.

A big red flag for me also is when a bass player pulls out a 6-string bass - there will be a propensity for him to become an additional guitarist, so I want to curtail that ASAP. If it's a 5-string with a low-B string, then you're safe because hearing the bass part go down further than open E is cool. And it allowed me to call tunes in Db and Eb, and he simply goes down, fulfilling his bass part.

He also should have his own gear in order. Things shouldn't be breaking. Take pride, right?
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
This is dependent on the music you're playing (obviously), but when in cover band territory, I just want to hear the recorded part. I did a gig where the bass player didn't play parts original to the song, and all the songs had this weird bass part going on - not something very grooving when you know what you need to hear.

A big red flag for me also is when a bass player pulls out a 6-string bass - there will be a propensity for him to become an additional guitarist, so I want to curtail that ASAP. If it's a 5-string with a low-B string, then you're safe because hearing the bass part go down further than open E is cool. And it allowed me to call tunes in Db and Eb, and he simply goes down, fulfilling his bass part.

He also should have his own gear in order. Things shouldn't be breaking. Take pride, right?
Agreed all points in general, although in Fired Up, we're purposely looking for interesting but appropriate interpretations of the original song bass lines. Of course, you have to be able to play the original part too in order to judge the interpreted part.

With you on 6 string + basses too, but I'm (sometimes) a fan of 5 string dropped below E too :)

My big red flag is bassists who are ex 6 string guitarists. Every time I encounter such a player, their bass sensibility is lacking. Maybe I'm just unlucky in that respect, but ex 6 string players always tend to lack pulse & lose sight of the overall purpose of bass in a band.
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

For me, I like a bassist to lock in with drums, it makes the rhythm section sound much bigger and makes the songs you play pop. It sounds like an obvious but the amount of bassists and drummers that can't lock into each other is scary.

Volume control. I've played with way too many bassists that are louder than anyone else on stage with a shocking tone and wont turn down. These guys have trouble with tuning and playing the right notes.

If you can get a bassist that knows what the top 2 strings are for and can play them bonus. 4 strings are usually 2 strings too many!

I'm realizing as this list gets longer the chances of finding a bassist that can do the above points is slim.

A good bassist is hard to find, good luck Andy!
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

I like bass players that don't hog all the available space. They leave some for others.

Why the departure of your original bass guy?
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Hey Andy, I'd say the #1 thing I would look at is a good attitude including a nice little dose of humility. Of course, skill is a close second; however, I'd rather play with someone who isn't perfect but is fun to be around as opposed to a bassist who is a jerk but is an amazing player.

Little red flag 2. I always assume that a bassist has his/her own gear, but if not, he/she should own a fairly decent bass rig.

Little red flag 3. Ask the person their influences. This gives a lot of insight to what he/she is thinking if bass parts need to be written in the future.

Little red flag 4. This may sound terrible, but I like to play with bass players in which bass was one of the first instruments they learned. I hate playing with converted guitar players because they don't understand locking in with the drummer. With these guys, I always want to grab a piece of painters tape, walk over to their bass and put the tape at about the 6th fret and say, "Don't play past this! Oh, and don't play anything faster than an 8th note either." Bass players get it. Converted guitar players don't. Find out how they learned.

Little red flag 5. If the bass player shows up and gets a pick out of his case, just tell him to leave right then (I'm sort of kidding, but I'm sort of not too).

Little red flag 6.Find out of the person is married and/or has kids. The answer can be either a pro or a con depending your band members' stages of life. Right now, all of the guys I'm playing with right now are married and have small-ish kids. If there is a rehearsal cancellation because a kid is sick, we all get it and wish them well and to get well soon. There are no grudges or anything like that. However, if I was playing with a bunch of 20-somethings, it wouldn't fly.

Little red flag 7. Find out what kind of job they work. Day jobs are good. If they can't keep a job, this may reflect on their personality and/or work ethic.

Little red flag 8. If you ask them about their previous band experiences, and they've been in 5 bands, and all of them were a_ _holes, then you need to look at the common denominator. Granted, some people just have bad luck; however, I've never left a band or group in bad blood in 25 years as an active musician.

Little red flag 9. Look for signs of drug use. It's really bad in my area, so I always feel the need to mention it.

Maybe these are obvious, but maybe they're not. Auditioning is TOUGH business. Prayers and thoughts are with you!
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

I don't want pushy people in the band. Some people try to take control of the band.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Way back in an 80s cover band, we would audition bass players with only one song, "Footloose", and instruct the player to learn the song note for note.

It turns out, there are only two types of bass players: those that play Footloose note for note, and those who don't.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
I'm realizing as this list gets longer the chances of finding a bassist that can do the above points is slim.

A good bassist is hard to find, good luck Andy!
That certainly narrows the field, but nothing compared to how many criteria my bandmates have stipulated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I like bass players that don't hog all the available space. They leave some for others.

Why the departure of your original bass guy?
As with all players Larry, the ability to play the spaces is a big deal.

Reasons for leaving = life demands taking over - it happens :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Little red flag 4. This may sound terrible, but I like to play with bass players in which bass was one of the first instruments they learned. I hate playing with converted guitar players because they don't understand locking in with the drummer. With these guys, I always want to grab a piece of painters tape, walk over to their bass and put the tape at about the 6th fret and say, "Don't play past this! Oh, and don't play anything faster than an 8th note either." Bass players get it. Converted guitar players don't. Find out how they learned.
Good list, & 100% agreed, but this one is a big one for me. Never met a good bass player who started substantially on 6 string. of course, I'm sure they exist, & I know many bassists who can play 6 string, but it was never their primary instrument. Now, a drummer who started as a bass player, or a bass player who started as a drummer = different deal altogether!

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Way Jose View Post
I don't want pushy people in the band. Some people try to take control of the band.
Oh yes - actually - hell yes!
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2018, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Top priority for me is someone who can play time. Last bass player I worked with rushed like mad. Drove me nuts.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Way back in an 80s cover band, we would audition bass players with only one song, "Footloose", and instruct the player to learn the song note for note.

It turns out, there are only two types of bass players: those that play Footloose note for note, and those who don't.
Finding one song that's a deal breaker is certainly one approach, but one that we'd struggle with due to our breadth of requirement. Also, as we're not wedded to verbatim ourselves, it's not high on the list for us.

Our biggest additional requirement is good BV / harmony ability. That cuts the field down very substantially.

Quote:
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Top priority for me is someone who can play time. Last bass player I worked with rushed like mad. Drove me nuts.
That's number 1,2, & 3 right there!
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Good time and sense/care about groove.

It's the one thing that takes the longest to learn if it's not there.
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

I don't judge players by their equipment.
I like someone who sits in the pocket with me.
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Issues we've had to deal with recently as we're auditioning bassists (again):

1. Mud-tone. We've had a couple guys audition and their amp settings were all bass. Barely any mids or highs. Several songs, "Valerie" by Ronson & Winehouse in particular, I couldn't tell what they heck the bassist was playing. Two guys specifically gave me a weird look when I told them to brighten their sound. I guy I had to tell to just even out their eq settings and he mumbled about "bass tone."

2. Undisclosed medical condition. Ok, so this one is a red flag. We had a bassist who left the stage right before the 4th song after coming off our break. As he's walking off he says, "I gotta go pee" -right by a mic so the whole joint heard it. After the show I tells us that when he's gotta go, he's gotta go. He had some other issues we weren't happy about so as he said, he had to go.

3. Inability to respond to calls/texts/emails within a day. This may be a personal pet peeve, but if someone doesn't get back to me within a day, especially someone I'm trying to get paid, it's usually not going to work out.

4. If their cell phone or landline isn't always "on" -meaning service was suspended or terminated by their phone company. If they aren't paying the bills then they have outside issues bigger than the band environment.

5. Too much rig for the show/rehearsal. We've had a couple guys show up w/ a bass stack. Each of them has two 4x10 cabinets and a monster head...just to audition.

6. Not learning the songs in the proper key. We give players a set of songs to learn for the audition and the key they are in along w/ an audio or video link of the recording that we've done or is what we've learned from. We've had guys come in and have learned the songs in the wrong key for a variety of reasons: "their" version is easier to play, they just Googled the song and learned the first one that came up, they downloaded a tab or sheet music in the wrong key, etc.

7. They show up to auditions with a cooler full of beer and/or have been drinking. Nothing wrong with having a beer or two at rehearsals, but you don't show up to an interview with a buzz or expecting to get buzzed. I know some people think it's a way to break the ice, but having dealt with too many alcoholics, it's an immediate red flag.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

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Originally Posted by Andy View Post
Our biggest additional requirement is good BV / harmony ability. That cuts the field down very substantially.
Good bassist with backing vocals. Think that needs to go on the list!
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

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Originally Posted by Andy View Post
Agreed all points in general, although in Fired Up, we're purposely looking for interesting but appropriate interpretations of the original song bass lines. Of course, you have to be able to play the original part too in order to judge the interpreted part.

With you on 6 string + basses too, but I'm (sometimes) a fan of 5 string dropped below E too :)

My big red flag is bassists who are ex 6 string guitarists. Every time I encounter such a player, their bass sensibility is lacking. Maybe I'm just unlucky in that respect, but ex 6 string players always tend to lack pulse & lose sight of the overall purpose of bass in a band.
I hear you about the ex-Guitar player types. It’s like a different headspace among rhythm and lead guitarists. Lead guys are always noodling about and rhythm guys play for the band. Why these lead types even consider going to bass guitar is baffling. Not every bass gig is a Doug Wimbish gig. Most are still 1 & 3 1st position playing last I checked ;)

But a lot of drummers still have to learn that too!
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

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Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
Good bassist with backing vocals. Think that needs to go on the list!
A big reason why firing Michael Anthony was such an insane move for VH. (Apologies for the diversion. Former fan here still stewing about that one.)
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

I haven't heard a lot of bass players I like that play with a pick. I guess that's a personal preference thing but I'll always lean towards a bass player who uses their fingers. I'm also in agreement with bo, if a 6 string gets pulled out of the guitar bag then you'd better put your guard up. A lot of bass players don't originally start off on bass, so ask them what else they play. Usually ex drummers who play bass have really solid timing, and ex piano player bassists have good sense of musicality and where the bass should fit in the song. Ex guitar players who pick up the bass usually like to try to play the bass like a guitar... from my own experience
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

After I mostly determine that they aren't jerks, which is number 1 to me, the next few questions I ask:

- What is the band you've listened to more than any other band over your lifetime? -- This one gets some really interesting responses that in my experience actually almost never align with my assumptions about a new player in the group.

-What style or technique are you best at?

-What style/technique are you worst at?

-How often do you practice on your own, or how many times per week do you play for more than 1 hour on your own? -- As much as I wish I could say otherwise, the answer to this has always aligned to how good they are as a musician, how tight they play and how well I can lock with them. Especially as I get older, it seems people joining bands are doing so in order to spur themselves to play more rather than already having a current desire and drive to make music.

One last advice I'm sure you're already aware of... People don't always play to the best of their ability in audition situations. Give lots of leeway on that first meetup and do a second if you need to! Listen to the specifics of the parts that they don't mess up rather than focusing on mistakes that get made.
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

I like them to understand how to set up the amp properly (an issue for some).
I work best with a bassist that understands that everyone is the time keeper.
I like a bass player who knows when it is time to change the strings.
I find that the ones with a mellow character have a better sensibility of music in general.
I like a player who has very good improvisational skills
It also helps if they listen to a wide rage of music with classical and jazz being high on their list.
I also prefer a player who knows how to fill out the bottom end rather than giving us his or her impression of Flea, unless they can actually do it.

Those are just a few personal preferences.

(
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

I see a lot of good comments on what is desirable from a bass player. As for what's not, pretty much the same as any other musician coming on board: lack of musicianship or musical potential, inability to be a team player, poor tone or feel, bad sense of timing, insurmountable personal issues, bad attitude, refusal to practice or learn songs, time waster, poor personal fit with the rest of the band.
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

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I also prefer a player who knows how to fill out the bottom end rather than giving us his or her impression of Flea, unless they can actually do it.
Haha. Yeah I bet there is only one rock bassist who can lay down a riff on a hip hop track, wear those pants, and somehow make it all awesome:

https://youtu.be/tZQQGX24Teg?t=114
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Besides the obvious, I also like a bass player who grooves with the music with a sorta bass player dance while he/she is playing. Like he/she is really enjoying it.
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

It was mentioned by Bruce, Broomstick, (and Andy) ... but man, soooo much is about time keeping ... so I'd like to emphasize it again. ;-) Having a steady bass player is so helpful in making things groove, swing, rock, etc. It makes the difference in "doing something" with tunes as opposed to "just playing" them.

It is an advantage to have a bass player that is strong harmonically as well. So he/she knows where things are and where they are going ... as opposed to laying back and waiting for others to show the way. (I'm not sure I explained that right.)

The professional traits are well stated above.

good luck!
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

1. I play with tracks/click so, don't make me struggle. Just follow me.

2. If playing covers, play the parts 80% correct.

3. If playing originals, don't be afraid to keep it simple but do play more than straight 1/8 notes in most cases.

4. Learn to play in the mix. The bass isn't generally the dominating instrument. You want to hear it but not out front of everything else.
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Way back in an 80s cover band, we would audition bass players with only one song, "Footloose", and instruct the player to learn the song note for note.

It turns out, there are only two types of bass players: those that play Footloose note for note, and those who don't.
Ha ha, this is awesome. I LOVE that bass line in Footloose and get disappointed when i see someone play something different while covering that song.
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
After I mostly determine that they aren't jerks, which is number 1 to me, the next few questions I ask:

- What is the band you've listened to more than any other band over your lifetime? -- This one gets some really interesting responses that in my experience actually almost never align with my assumptions about a new player in the group.

-What style or technique are you best at?

-What style/technique are you worst at?

-How often do you practice on your own, or how many times per week do you play for more than 1 hour on your own? -- As much as I wish I could say otherwise, the answer to this has always aligned to how good they are as a musician, how tight they play and how well I can lock with them. Especially as I get older, it seems people joining bands are doing so in order to spur themselves to play more rather than already having a current desire and drive to make music.

One last advice I'm sure you're already aware of... People don't always play to the best of their ability in audition situations. Give lots of leeway on that first meetup and do a second if you need to! Listen to the specifics of the parts that they don't mess up rather than focusing on mistakes that get made.
What band have I listened to most would be a band I hardly ever listen to anymore. Probably the Beatles, who I listened to a TON as a kid even tho I was born in 84. Also back in the day I listened to a lot of evanescence, Norah Jones, Aqua, and a lot of Billy Joel. Currently, now that I have access to more music, its Sumo Cyco, who I discovered opening for the birthday massacre. Or Rubblebucket, who make freaking awesome tunes. In This Moment is amazing as well and I listen to them a lot. The Motet is a band I frequent and for punk I go to The Interrupters.

But if you ask that question what are the chances you have heard of the top 5 bands the individual listens to?
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

All fabulous replies guys, & some nuggets in there that wouldn't immediately spring to mind.

However, if we're talking personality basics, try this email exchange (mildly edited to protect identity & feature the main points). Starting with my requested response to some very lame cabaret video footage submitted. I wouldn't even dream of repeating the inter - band member responses to this ;)


* ME

Hi-----, thank you for getting in touch. I'm sure you prefer some honesty, so here goes. Based on your clips, although you're obviously an accomplished & experienced player, you're pretty much the opposite of what we're after. We're about as anti function / cabaret band minded as it's possible to be, yet we place great value in musicianship. That said, I sense there's a performer wanting to burst out. We excel in powerful presentation of our set, & that means a certain level of delivery grit from every player. If you think that's you, then we're happy to consider you. This is not us being high handed, it's just a recognition of what we need to take the band forward. We're already in a strong position, & we're looking to build on that.

Please let me know how you feel about my candid reply. We're gathering applications over the next few weeks with a view to shortlisting for auditions soon - actually, we're starting early next week.

I hope you take my comments in the spirit in which they're offered. Best regards, Andy.

* APPLICANT

Hi Andy,
Thank you for your quick and honest reply,

I actually based my response to your ad on the bass player in your videos. I am not a bass player who leaps around the stage while playing (just like the bass player in the video, leave that to the singer). I do like your playing, and I am sure we would have no problem locking in together. Keyboard player, great playing and sound. Guitarist didn't do anything except look as though he had forgotten how to play "All The Young Dudes". Singer, apart from he would make me look thin, Fine. We are being honest here.

Having said the above, I do like what I hear and my musical past will only aid a seamless melt into replace your out going bassist, The way I work is to work bass lines out in written form and bring them to a rehearsal and note any changes. I then go away and learn the songs. I recently played with a band that had just one practice before a gig.

One thing I have learnt from these emails is I must dig out more of me playing in a non cabaret situation.

If any of the above makes any sense, be happy to come along and play.

Good luck with your hunt for a bass player
-----

* ME

-----, I replied to you with an honest & respectful appraisal of how your material presentation came across compared to our requirement. My comments were nothing to do with jumping around the stage - it was a musical delivery observation. I'm sorry that rattled you, but your response included a personal insult against a band member. How did you think that would be received? I think you know where this is going.

We wish you well,

Andy.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:14 PM
williamsbclontz williamsbclontz is offline
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Another thing is that it seems like bass players are the guys in the band that are either going to have the coolest personalities or be the weirdest guys you'll come across. Of course we've all met a strange keyboardists or crazy guitar player, but it always seems like bass players are more of a gamble

Unfortunately in today's music scenes, half of it is how well you can actually play and the other half is how you look, act, and so forth. At least that's true where I live
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Great feedback- I agree the bassist and drummer have to meld. So assuming the candidate has skills, talent, equipment, etc. , then it gets down to the candidates goals, commitment , ability to meet demands of band,and most importantly Personality and integrity. Even if the most talented bassist ever if they suffer from a lack of a integrity, narcissism, and just generally are a dick then who can work with them as they will never listen, may miss commitments, and apt to leave. Good luck Andy!
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I actually based my response to your ad on the bass player in your videos. I am not a bass player who leaps around the stage while playing (just like the bass player in the video, leave that to the singer). I do like your playing, and I am sure we would have no problem locking in together. Keyboard player, great playing and sound. Guitarist didn't do anything except look as though he had forgotten how to play "All The Young Dudes". Singer, apart from he would make me look thin, Fine. We are being honest here.

Having said the above, I do like what I hear and my musical past will only aid a seamless melt into replace your out going bassist,
Hmmm...so I'll insult your guitarist (and singer?)...and then tell you how I will seamlessly fit into your band. And that folks, is how you get the gig!
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

A lot of good points already made. So, I'm just going to go with my biggest priorities:

1) that we lock up. I've played with a bunch of highly skilled and experienced bass players. Some where I have to work to keep together with them, some where I don't even have to think about it. It usually has little to do with their ability or time keeping, but more where they feel the beat. I would always rather not have to worry about the minute functions of time keeping and focus my attention on the overall sound of the music.

2) that they can get a working sound. Whether it's having their own rig that works consistently and sounds good, or having the ability to dial in a consistently good tone on whatever rig that's put in front of them, I need to know that I'm not going to be distracted by a, for lack of a better term, unprofessional (or "inappropriate", if professionalism is not your thing) tone.

3) Many of my favorite bass players throughout history use a pick, so that doesn't bother me at all, again, as long as they sound good.

4) big ears. Gotta have them. If the singer accidentally goes to the chorus 2 bars early and the bass player (or anybody) doesn't notice or doesn't know how to adapt, thats a big red flag. Everyone on stage should be listening to everyone else all the time and be able to hear what's happening and roll with it as seamlessly as possible.
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Oh wow, one player to avoid right there Andy.

For me I'd look for a well seasoned bassist that knows about musicianship and how to lock into the drums instinctly.

I'd also look for someone that thinks outside the box also and doesn't think of their playing as solely a songs foundation (ie can add to a song rather than just laying a solid frequency for people to layer over)

A good attiditude is also just as crucial, however I've not met many bassists who aren't cool.
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Old 01-28-2018, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

1. Excellent time

2. Ok with pedalling a root, when that is what the song requires

3. Doesn't make every line sound like Jaco; plays for the song, not themselves

4. Excellent time

5. Demonstrates great work ethic right out of the gate

I played with someone for several years, a few years ago, that had significant skills. But, he didn't know how to use them. It was a dance-oriented cover band, and it always sounded like he was *mumbling* with his lines. About 4 times the notes that he needed, instead of locking a simple, dance-inducing groove with me. Very, very unsatisfying. I got to the point where I stopped listening to him, and I just locked with the very funky, percussive, tight sounding rhythm guitar player.

I have also played with people who spooked me with their bad time. They knew the fretboard, and they knew the songs, but they would inexplicably place the notes in the wrong places. A bass player with bad time is a bad time.

If a new band mate makes excuses the first couple of rehearsals, that person is Never going to learn the material well. I have seen way too many of these people in my travels. They say they want to be in the band, but they don't really have the time or discipline to - how radical - actually learn the material well. These people pretty much Never fix the situation if they demonstrate it at the start.
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Old 01-28-2018, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

I regularly play with three different bass players

One is easy to play with - we lock in and I never have to worry about tempo.
One is uncomfortable to play with - tempo pushes and pulls all the time, so I have to deliberately play like a metronome to keep things in check.
The third is inbetween, laid back, follows me, sounds OK, easy to get along with.


You can tell within the first song or two how the timing feels.
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Old 01-28-2018, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

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...you're pretty much the opposite of what we're after...
Ouch.___________________________________
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Priorities:

1) Show up on time, relatively sober.
2) Play with confidence.

I keep seeing an insistence about locking in, but I've found that may not happen immediately - sometimes it takes a couple of rehearsals to tell. (But I can usually determine from the get-go whether the raw materials are there to eventually lock in a groove with someone.)

Red flags:

1) Slapping.
2) Slapping.
3) Girlfriend in tow.
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Experienced and accomplished is pretty much the opposite of what you want. Oh, ok. Followed by murky comments about his lack of grit. Don't blame the guy one bit for his response. You asked him what he thought of your response, and he told you.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Thank you all for the excellent replies - much food for thought. Auditions begin tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philrudd View Post
Priorities:
3) Girlfriend in tow.
:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
Experienced and accomplished is pretty much the opposite of what you want. Oh, ok. Followed by murky comments about his lack of grit. Don't blame the guy one bit for his response. You asked him what he thought of your response, and he told you.
Based on what I've posted here, I completely get your take on this, but there is more context. His submission was punchy to say the least - claiming to be very experienced in delivering our kind of stuff, yet the videos he presented were far removed from anything that would relate to our requirement. My comment was purely with regards to the video content he submitted. My reference to his experience & accomplishment was a recognition of his ability, not a dismissal of those attributes.

That said, I am fully accepting that I could have responded more sympathetically. I didn't make the best job of getting the best out of him for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juniper View Post
Oh wow, one player to avoid right there Andy.
Yes. I accept I wasn't entirely supportive / diplomatic in my reply, but for him to respond by dissing the guitarist & making personal observations about the singer was a much worse choice in my mind. It would have been easier just to say thanks, but no thanks (both ways).
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:02 AM
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Default Re: What are your bass player priorities / red flags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomstick View Post
Top priority for me is someone who can play time. Last bass player I worked with rushed like mad. Drove me nuts.
This is my number one priority, as well. I don't want to have to worry about keeping the bass player in time, and would rather that person help me keep the band in time. Bass and drums should be working together!
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